26 June 2013

Week Two: My Work Here Is Done

Katie in the broadcast choir (she is in the 3rd row from top in the center)!
Dear Family,

So how bout that broadcast?  The broadcast was amazing. I saw the Lochheads, which was cooler for me than it was for them.  They didn’t recognize me from far away. They thought I was one of their Ukrainian missionaries from across the Marriott Center, but I was jumping up and down and so so so excited to see them. KLynn just reminds me a lot of Mom, so it was fun. My collega actually got to see and hug her family! They live in PG and got tickets. But I just got back from running to the bookstore and guess who was there. Bob Lochhead. And I had just told Zuster Kohlert, "I really hope I get to see the Lochheads today." They send their best.

Obviously my work is not even close to done, which makes me very happy. But we have been working recently on contacting and finding, and it is SO HARD. Dad, I was drawing a lot on random things you had taught me throughout the years of how you'd get peoples' attention in fussgangerzones (pedestrian zones). I would ask, "Why do you think we have been sent to Earth?" and stuff like that. PMG has been helpful (duh, that's what it's meant for) but it is still awkward and hard and scary even when you're just doing it to other missionaries. So if you have any other words of wisdom, that'd be great.

Needless to say, I'm stoked that they're stressing member missionary work. The more referrals we get, the more successful we can be. The whole time, I could not wait to give Annie ideas. Annie. I know you don't really use Facebook, but I challenge you to post a Mormon message on Facebook once a week. And tweet a quote from an apostle that is really uplifting, like, every few days. Why not?? It brightens everyone’s day.

ALYSSA: Idk why my mail hasn't been getting to you...but just in case you don't get anything by Friday: HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND I LOVE YOU. And since you basically called me geriatric in the months following my birthday: I know of some really good wrinkle cream. Let me know if you need it. Oh and I learned that "soul mate" in Dutch is bozemvriend. Hehehe. Also, you could give me Spinny's address and I can mail letters there if that works better.

Mark. Dude. You're the coolest. I'm sorry you got soaked at scout camp, but I'm glad you had fun. Isn't that the same place that Spencer basically cut is finger to the bone? Hey, if you make it out of there without doing that, I'd say you're doing pretty well.

Can I just take a moment to thank Grandpa for being my grandpa? I feel so blessed to have a love of learning languages like him. There are some who aren’t quite as excited to learn the language as I am. We learn the coolest things. Our teachers are amazing. Turns out, Robert, my investigator (who by the way committed to baptism, woo) is actually Broeder Robinson, my teacher. He is fantastic. He's weird and hilarious and spiritual and just so smart. It helps that I understand most of what he says. Plus he is half Dutch, so he can act like the type of person we are going to see in the Netherlands. I CAN'T WAIT TO GO THERE!!! This gospel is perfect and it can make every single person happy. I can't wait to see who I will be led to.

Unfortunately, the people at the bookstore (store in Dutch is winkle, FYI, just thought it might brighten someone's day) wouldn't let me even purchase a Russian PMG. And they wouldn't let my companion get a Dutch hymn book. They were kind of rude about it too, but whatever, nothing really gets me down here. Life is so good. Soooooo Mom, if you're at Deseret book and you see a Russian pmg and a Dutch hymn book, it would be much appreciated. We sing here. A lot.

I want to send more pictures, so I must be off. I love you all so much. So much. I'm so thankful for a supportive and loving family and friends. Also, sorry this week was kind of boring.


Zuster Heilner

Saying goodbye to Elder Calderwood, he is on his way to Moscow this week!
With Elder Merrill
With Sister Wyeth, my counselor from Freshman year

18 June 2013

1st P-Day Email: Geliefde Gezin: Magic Tuesday

Note from Mom:  We received a couple of e-mails from Katie today.  We are so excited to see how happy and well she is.  Watch for her on Sunday at the world wide broadcast.  She will be in the choir!!
I'll write the real email in a little, but I'm doing laundry and it is 5am and yeah, P-Day is today. I'm going to the 3:20 temple session, but I won't have any time to sit in the Celestial Room after because I am singing in the choir at the devotional (I know, I'm in choir. I'm laughing too). Also, by a series of miracles and a testimony builder of honesty, I am singing in the choir that Pres. Monson will see on Sunday. So watch for me on TV!!!!
I promise I will give more deets later. 
A very happy, healthy, excited Zuster Heilner

After we found out we get to sing in the choir!


I got this e-mail from an Elder that must already be in my mission:

Zuster Heilner!

Elder Schulte (I guess he's Michael now) told me that you're coming to this mission and that you lived in Russia and speak Russian? Have you kept it up? I hope so because there are a lot of Russian speakers here. I lived in Yaroslavl for a few months and retained a little bit and have used it a ton since being here. If you can get your hands on a Russian PMG in the MTC or something similar I'd recommend it (unless your bags are too heavy already with nice sister clothes). Hope your MTC stay is going well! Work hard and enjoy the Spirit that is there! 

Elder Lewis
LOUK, JA?!?!?! (Cool, huh?!) I will be purchasing a Russian PMG on the morrow

Geliefde Gezin: Magic Tuesday
Dear Family,
A few things first. One, I am so thankful to be where I am. I know this is exactly where the Lord needs me, and I LOVE that. Two, if I could write a letter to the German language this would be it:

Dear German,
Thank you for being so logical and beautiful and perfect. And thank you for sticking with me (or rather, you're welcome that I stuck with you so faithfully for so many years). I just want you to know that contrary to popular belief, you are not the most hideous language on the planet. Dutch beats ya. Also, I never thought you were hideous. Thank you for being so similar to Dutch; your word order is truly inspiring. I'll forever be indebted to you.
Until we meet again...if I ever do pick you up again,
Zuster Heilner

Life at the MTC is pretty great. I have five Elders and five Zusters in my district. I am not one of the tri-panionships, which I am quite thankful for. I do, however, love my companion and my district. My stance on Elders going to school for at least a semester still holds, but I will admit that there are exceptions to that rule. There are some Elders here who just graduated that are AWESOME.

That's funny what James wrote on my wall...I think my teacher Bruder Mohrman love/hates me. I think he love/hates us all. He's so funny though, and I love him.

Before I forget, can someone (ALYSSA IF YOU ARE READING THIS, THIS IS FOR YOUUUUUU) Facebook message Daniel Cottam and ask him for his address? The kid wrote me and didn't tell me where he lives.....geez child. Don't text him though because he is in Romania.

Oh, I should address the subject line. "Magic Tuesday" is this awesome thing where they do a series of medical tests on the missionaries (zendelingen) going to Belgium. I'll just tell you it involves the digestive system in a way that I never wanted my digestive system to be involved. Also I had to give blood, which, as you know, I LOVE doing....-_____- You wanna know something? I might not even go to Belgium! But I hope I do, so I was happy to do the tests. Well..."happy" is a relative term, I guess. But yeah, that was today. Welcome to the MTC! Here's your first P-Day, we have a special bonding activity for you and the other Dutchies. Point MTC.

Mom, when you guys come up here (I'm never allowed to say "you guys," so that was weird. I have to say "you Zusters" or "you Elders."), you can drop packages and mail off at the BYU mail service building and they will deliver it to the MTC "fo' freeeeee." Mark, name that movie. Mark, write me. Annie, you too. Sheesh children. I have been such a good writer to Spencer for these past two years, and if you want me to write you on your missions (and, uh, you do), WRITE ME.

So the food here is Cannon Center food, so I know exactly what it all tastes like, but I can't complain. At least I won't get fat. One of the first days I was here, we had skor cake, which is actually the best thing the CANC has to offer, so that was cool. RIGHT NORNS?! If you're reading this...

I'm pretty sure the MTC never fully prepared itself for how many sisters would be singing Disney songs in its showers. I know I didn't quite prepare myself for that...ha. But it is pretty crazy the number of sisters here! Elder Calderwood was telling me (we see each other at least twice a day, which is fun) that next week, 120 Russian speakers are entering the MTC. Ya know, missionaries going to Russia. And one of the districts is ALL SISTERS. The very first all-sister district! Represent! I love hearing Russian everywhere! Really all the languages, but whenever people say "spacibo" I have to answer with "pajaulista" or however you would spell it in English. And normally, we answer with graag gedaan (no, I don't actually know how to spell that in Dutch. Oops.).

Uh, did anyone ever realize that Dutch is spoken in the West Indies?! There are some really cool elders going to Surinam in my Zone. They got here two weeks before us, so they're very helpful. One day, for language study, my companion and I went in there and they were quizzing us. My zone is fun. We have Sweden (Oscar, if you're reading this, I tell them to look out for you in Gothemberg), Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Belgium/Netherlands. And Surinam! That just moved itself to top on my list of places to go. Pirates? I can take 'em.

Yes, mother I did get the package. It is slowly but surely being eaten. Bless your beautiful soul. Dad, you may have had something to do with that, so I guess I can say bless your even more beautiful soul (sorry, Mom, but it was just Fathers' Day).

I'm working on memorizing my purpose as a missionary in Dutch. And then I'm going to move to the first vision. Our investigator's name is Robert, and he's a pretty cool guy. He knows God is there, but he doesn't see God in his life, so it is our job to help him recognize Him as his Heavenly Father (Hemelse Vader). We have been teaching him all in Dutch. It's crazy. I can pretty much understand everything he says, but when all else fails and my companion (collega, but for all the Gs, it's really guttural, like "ch" in German) and I both don't know what to say, I answer him in German with a Dutch accent with as many Dutch words as I can, and I can get pretty far! The language is definitely coming. I love it. One day, I woke up and my throat was kind of sore, and then I realized it was because my guttural muscles had never been used that much. Ha.

IK HOUD VAN JULLIE (I love you)!!! The Church is true. Heavenly Father has a purpose for all of us, and this is mine right now. I will be singing in the Fireside on Sunday (I know; it's humorous; you can laugh) so WATCH FOR ME! If I could, I would write "HI MOM" on my forehead, but they won't even let us wear necklaces, so something tells me it would be inappropriate.

Mark, spockspockspockspock
Annie, remember who you are and that I love you
Spence, you should know that I don't cry a lot. But every time I think about how I will get to see you in the MTC, I get teary-eyed. Can't help it, you're my hero.
Mom and Dad, I love you and I'm so thankful for your example. I would not be prepared for this mission without you guys.  Also, if there are some basketball shorts that are too small for Mark but are really light and knee-length, I'd love them. And I forgot about belts...can I have a skinny-ish (like one-inch thick) leather belt? Like the natural-leather color. You know, to match those shoes I have. Those shoes are super comfy. My black ones, not AS much, but they're fine for now. Dad, can you send me one of those USB things that you can put a camera SD card in? I have pictures but I can't send them to you because we can't just plug our cameras right into the computer. So if you don't mind getting one on Amazon, I will have more pictures for you next week! My companion sent some pictures to her family (she borrowed an Elder's thing) so I'll send them to you.


Zuster Heilner
Katie and her companion Zuster K

Sisters in my MTC District

1st Night from the MTC

Note from Mom:  We finally received a hand written letter from Katie in the mail. I have transcribed it below.  It was written her first night in the MTC.  She sounds GREAT!  We are so grateful she has this opportunity to serve a mission.

June 12, 2013


Today has been pretty great.  Kinda.  It was rough until I got my companion, but now I have her (Zuster K) and she is great.  I already feel a great love for her.  There are only 5 people in my room (sweet!) because there is a triple-companionship.  It’s basically like dorm life but I don’t have my own desk.  I got the bottom bunk by the door.  There is someone above me, but she’s pretty cool, so whatever.  Zuster K is letting me put my other suitcase on the open bed (the bunk above her) so that’s nice.

Dutch is hard.  Dutch is scary.  Heavenly Father could have easily sent me German speaking and I have to remember not to get irritated about that.  I think they were trying to freak us out a little today.  Plus they had us (well, me and Elder K) go do online assessments for like 45 minutes.  We had arrived first and when we got back to the classroom, everyone had already introduced themselves, said where they are from and the number of siblings in Dutch to everyone!  Grr. So I don’t really know how to say that, but nobody else reeeally does either.  It’ll come.  I know I’m supposed to speak Dutch.

The first person I recognized as I was driving into the MTC was Kaden, of course.  Then Mitchell Merrill.  The two guys that always write me!  It made me soooo happy to see them.  I saw a lot of other people too.  Remembering to use last names is going to take a while. 

It’s really comforting to have a companion.

Aunt Kathy took a lot of pictures.  A lot. 

Mark, you don’t really have to worry about me eating too much.  It is CANC food. (Oh, CANC=Cannon Center)

I have to go to the vaccination center tomorrow.  (Imagine an un-amused face.)  I’ll probably have to get another dang tetanus.  Am I allowed to say “dang”?

I’m getting up at 6 to go to yoga!  My companion also did Bikram Yoga!  She did a deal like the Living Social and only went like 5 times, too!  Ha.  She’s cool and from Lindon.  There are a LOT of people from Lindon, Utah in my district.

I forgot stationary.  That was dumb.  I’ll try and get some paper and envelopes tomorrow.

In Lana Del Ray’s wise words:  “this is what make us girls, we all look to heaven and we put our love first.”  I like this because even a pot head like Lana gets that females have a special role to play in bringing others to Christ.  You know, we look to heaven.

I’m in for a crazy day tomorrow, so I’m going to spend the last lit hours of the night reading scriptures.

LOVE YOU PEOPLE!  I’m working hard. 

Zuster Heilner

P.S. My P-day is Tuesday.

17 June 2013

Zuster Heilner Enters the MTC

It is official, Katie is now Zuster Heilner and a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  She entered the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Provo, Utah on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.  Her Aunt Kathy Maines and cousins Hannah and Sarah picked her up from the Salt Lake City airport and took her to Provo.  They met up with her Grandma Phillips, Aunt Julia Woolf and cousins Sam, Andrew, Nathan and Tanner, as well as Aunt Rhonda Phillips and cousin Olivia at the Provo Temple.  They were able to spend about an hour together before she had to report to the MTC.  Here are some of the pictures of that time.  

Cousin Sam, Aunt Julia, Cousins Tanner, Hannah, Katie, Sarah, Grandma Phillips, Cousins Nathan (the Hunk) and Andrew
Saying her last goodbyes to Mom and Dad with Nathan and Grandma Phillips
Soon she will be standing in front of beautiful tulips
 in the Netherlands!!
In front of the Provo Temple
Zuster Heilner with cousins Hannah Maines and Sarah Maines Duke

Hugs from soccer stud Andrew

Katie meeting her MTC host Sister Beanie with cousin Hannah

Sarah, Hannah and Katie at the MTC drop off!

From all accounts at the drop off, the MTC is THE place to be this summer. Katie saw some of her best friends from BYU, who are currently at the MTC, as she was driving into the MTC and being dropped off, including Elder Calderwood (the Maines happen to know him from their old ward in Virginia so that is the only name they remembered). 

Good luck Katie.  We can't wait to hear about your adventures!  

09 June 2013

Pre-MTC Post

It's official. I have less than 72 hours until I report to the Missionary Training Center! I am so excited to have this opportunity.

This blog will be kept up by my mom. If she hasn't updated it, feel free to call her and tell her that she's being a neglectful mother. Just kidding, she's the best. Anyway, she will post my weekly email to this blog. Any comments that are left will be forwarded to me on my mission. If you wish to be on the emailing list (she will just forward my email to you), leave a comment with your email address.

I am so thankful for my call to serve in the Belgium/Netherlands mission. I know that Christ lives and that He loves us. See you all in 18 months!